‘Virtually zero chance’ of seeing gas cost $1 per litre in Canada again: report

Canadians aren’t likely to see gas cost less than a dollar a litre in the future, according to a price-monitoring company.

GasBuddy, which crowdsources prices at the pump across the country, said in a release on Monday that there is “virtually zero chance that gas prices will ever fall below $1 per litre again.”

Patrick De Haan, petroleum industry analyst at the company, pointed mostly at the federal carbon price, which rose to $80 a tonne on April 1, up from $65 a tonne. That translated to a rise in gasoline prices of about 3.3 cents per litre on average Monday.

However, De Haan also noted geopolitical strife like Russia’s war on Ukraine, more expensive summer gas, increased demand amid summer travel, and maintenance at refineries also push prices up.

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According to GasBuddy, which relies on users to report prices, gas prices on average were up 13.8 cents over March’s average price of 149.9 cents per litre and are up 11.2 cents over the 2023 average price of 152.5.

“It’s becoming more obvious that with every yearly increase, it’s becoming less and less likely that we would see a sub-dollar- a-litre-price,” De Haan told Global News, speaking from Tampa, Fla.

Toronto Metropolitan University global management professor Michael Manjuris agreed with GasBuddy’s prediction, also saying producers will reduce or increase how much petroleum they put into the market to match demand, maximizing their profit.

Canadians do receive a rebate from the carbon pricing increase.

Manjuris said many Canadians will receive some, but not all, of what they spend on higher gas prices. That’s because the costs are also passed along in different ways, like with higher prices at the grocery store to make up for the additional money farmers are spending to fuel equipment.

The carbon price is designed to shift Canadians’ behaviour towards transport that emits less carbon emissions.

For that to work, Manjuris said, alternatives need to be affordable.

He said electric vehicles remain expensive to buy and rely on charging stations, which aren’t ubiquitous across the country.

“If the idea is we’re creating a carbon tax system because we want people to pollute less, then there has to be alternatives to … allow us to pollute less,” he said, speaking from Toronto.

And while Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre has promised to “axe the tax,” meaning cut the carbon price, Manjuris said the opposition leader has failed to outline what would replace it and help Canada mitigate climate change.

&copy 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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